There is a perceived toughness of drivers in the trucking industry, and seasoned veterans know you need to have thick skin to do the job, but there is another side to life on the road. Due to the nature of trucking, studies show that drivers face increased challenges, such as loneliness (27.9%), depression (26.9%), chronic sleep disturbances (20.6%), anxiety (14.5%), and other emotional problems (13%). With approximately 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States, according to estimates by the American Trucking Association, truck drivers must understand they are not alone in their struggles. Many people, from children to adults, struggle with mental health needs, and as our society increases its awareness of these needs, the availability of support resources improves.
Listed below are four common issues truck drivers face that can affect mental health.
We all need to take mental health seriously. If you, a friend, or family member is affected, they need to know they are not alone in their struggles. If any symptoms of depression are occurring, it’s time to seek professional help. Free helplines are available, and people call them for a variety of reasons. Most reach out when they are feeling overwhelmed, in crisis, or at risk of doing something they would later regret.
Helpline resources include: